‘Tis the Season

December 4, 2018

Contests! Anthologies! Publications, open back up for business!

Tis the season, indeed. I love when I have more markets available to submit stories to, especially all at once. It gives me a nice, warm feeling of accomplishment when I send off a whole bunch of stories to a whole bunch of places.

Sadly, most—if not all—of them come back as rejections. It’s okay, because I know that it probably wasn’t  the right fit. Maybe they don’t like my style. Maybe they checked out this blog and disagreed with me. Maybe I’m just overthinking everything.

Whatever the case, I’m glad to see that business is booming. It also means that a lot of end of year collections, and the latest quarterlies have a new issue available! I love to read small press publications, and delight in reading the short stories and (sometimes) poems that are in them.

Nothing against poetry or poets! I wrote more than my fair share in high school and college, but boy did I ever get burned out on it. Every now and again I’ll come across a poem, however, that blows my mind. I love it, especially in a horror magazine!

Just scrolling through Facebook today, I noticed so many calls for submissions and reminders that things are open. Nothing resets the juicy encouragement factor of a writer than the promise of something you’ve wanted for so long actually, possibly, maybe really happening! My wife and I don’t have plans for tonight (other than washing that disgusting mountain of dishes in our sink, please kill me!), but we might just happen to head to our friendly local coffee shop and enjoy a nice latte while I work on many things at once.

It makes me think that I have too many things going on in my life outside of work and marriage. Star Wars Destiny, Warhammer Underworlds, hitting the gym to attempt to stay fit and healthy, and trying to keep my house from crumbling apart. I prioritize writing, definitely, but sometimes, I can’t manage to get more than a few minutes daily to write or edit (or think about it, or talk about it, or dream about it…).

Good news, though! The latest issue of Broadswords and Blasters, of which yours truly has a story in, will be published next month! We’ve been waiting a while for it, but it’s finally here! Check it out now:

Broadswords and Blasters–New Issue Coming Soon!

Anyway, just wanted to get something down. I’m excited and needed to talk about it! Hopefully all of you little sexies are doing well also!

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Setting those goals

January 5, 2014

I hate New Year’s Resolutions.  They’re just empty promises people make to feel self-righteous and make other people think that they’re really proactive, and able to face impossible odds.  The problem is, people follow them, a little bit, for a short while.  Then it’s back to the beginning, and more empty promises on December 31st again…

That is why I set goals.  Next to my desk, I have a list of “rules” to make my life more worthwhile.  One of my favorites is “Remember that you will have to deal with people you can’t stand.  Chances are, you are that person to someone else.”  But my absolute favorite is “Set one goal a day, one a week, one a month.”  Why?  Basically, so I have something to live for.

While I have many things worth living for–my lovely fiancee, my writing, my Riddler collection, and my family–it is quite easy to lose sight of these things.  Even if my daily goal is to go without complaining once about the weather or putting gas in my car (because let’s face it, I’m the type of person who drives on empty as long as I can), I know I’ve done something.  Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s has made me a victim of television, video games, comic books, all the good stuff.  All the vice that unfortunately becomes habit.

So I need to remain proactive.  I need to get off my fat ass and do something.  I feel like setting goals is a perfect way to do that–and publicly sharing them is even more perfect.  That way, when people see me or talk to me, they can ask how my goals are going.  While I’m a very good liar, I find it difficult to lie about this kind of stuff.  Especially when it comes to working out/losing weight–you honestly can’t tell someone you’re following your routine when it’s obvious you’ve put on weight.

To me, it’s the same thing with writing.  While my daily output isn’t public (and never will be, so don’t ask!), I feel like I’m a lot happier, a lot more satisfied and confident when I’ve been working diligently on my writing.  I might be tired and exhausted, but you can still see a difference.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen.  What I hope to accomplish for this coming year.

GOALS FOR 2014:

  • Edit “In the Pale Moonlight” – This is my novel that I started way back in February of 2010.  I’ve taken so many breaks during the course of writing it, for various reasons, and I finally finished the first draft in December.  I’m hoping–HOPING–that editing won’t take almost four years!
  • Journal “The Third Tower” – My next book.  Had this idea for a long time, with lots of notes floating around my office.  I don’t think it’ll take too long, since I’ve gone over the plot a million times in my head.
  • Write “The Third Tower” – Yep, just need to sit down and write it!
  • Manage to afford professional editing for “In the Pale Moonlight” – Okay, so I hear a collective groan.  But let’s face it, I’m impatient.  I waited so long to write it, I don’t want to wait any longer to have it ready to go!  I doubt I’ll be able to afford this professionally, but it’s something I’m definitely looking into.
  • Get agented – ItPM will have to be finished for this to happen, but I’m really putting myself out there.  I need to make an agent realize that I’m worth representing.  Because I am, dammit!
  • Journal for another novel – I really don’t think “The Third Tower” is going to take that long to write.  Wishful thinking, of course, but if I have at least the first draft done by the end of the year, which I should, I should be able to at least start writing a journal for another novel.
  • Sell at least one short story per month – this isn’t up to me, but editors and publishers.  Still, I have to make sure I’m submitting quality stuff, and submitting it to the right places.
  • Fully develop Clay and Styg’s world – My adventurers, my babies!  A la Conan with Robert E. Howard, I write short stories with the same characters, and might collect them all some day.  I have a lot of stories with these guys, but I definitely need a finite world for them to live in.  So far, I’m cruising right along!
  • Lose this gut! – Everyone always says this.  I know it doesn’t have anything to do with writing, but I do spend a lot of time at the gym.  I love working out, eating healthy, and feeling good.  Losing a gut takes a long time, and I’ve been slowly chiseling away at it.  I can’t imagine this year it won’t happen, unless I give up completely on my exercise routines.  Since I want to reunite with my abs that I haven’t seen since I was 17 years old, I’m going to make it happen this year, no matter what!
  • Have a perfect wedding and honeymoon – September 14th.  It will go perfect, and no one is going to stop us from enjoying that.

I’m sure some of these are rather ridiculous, and all are self-serving.  But hey, why set goals for oneself if can’t serve yourself?  Regardless, I’m happy as hell right now, and looking forward to good things happening throughout the year.  I used to be angry and depressed about everything, and then I realized that it’s up to me and me alone to be happy.  So why put myself in a bad spot?  These goals can only further my happiness, and subsequently the people around me.

I’ll update this list throughout the year.  When things are finished, or if in the unfortunate circumstance that something has to be removed because it can’t be done.  Hey, you never know.  But I do know this–it’s going to be a great year.  2014, prepare to be my bitch!